Why You Should Consider Integrating Your Energy Systems
Things like powering lights, running your computer, and heating water for the shower/bath all use a huge amount
of energy and electricity.
You may want to consider integrating your energy systems.
When executed in this fashion all your electricity, heat and water can be generated through one system rather
than using three separate systems.
Building integrated solar has become a popular choice over the last few years.
This is where you combine solar panels, solar, thermal, and radiant heating into one shared system.
A major benefit of integrating your energy systems is that you gain efficiencies and energy
savings, because more often than not with separate systems there is an invariable overlapping of systems where
efficiency is lost.
If you build integrated solar energy systems you will find that you will be reducing overall energy use by at
least half. Another great thing about integrating your energy systems is that you will be saving money from
purchasing less equipment. Without even realizing it, free hot water is a by-product of building integrated
The great thing about solar panels and solar hot water heaters is that
they take no energy to operate (and no carbon emissions either). If you choose to build integrated solar you are
going to be lowering your home's dependency on fossil fuels, and the risk of global warming is reduced as well.
Building integrated solar is win-win for both your pocket and the environment.
If you are building a new home from scratch I would suggest that you should select an integrated system when you
are designing your new home in order to accommodate the weight and size of the solar equipment that is to be
There are three main integrated energy technologies that you will use when building an integrated energy system:
building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), building integrated solar thermal (BIST), and combined solar PV and
Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is where solar panels are concealed into the design of a building.
Building integrated solar thermal (BIST) is the plastic tubing that is installed on the outside of a house/building
to generate hot water.
The hot water can be used for showers or as a heat source. The plastic tubing is placed on the sunny area
(typically roof or wall) and covered up, and after heated, water is stored in a water heater tank.
Unlike roof solar panels where heat is lost, combined solar PV and thermal panels offer an alternative because
the system collects the leftover heat to produce hot water and hot air.
Such systems can be utilized throughout North America and seeing as they produce heat they are good for all
types of climates, however be wary if you live in cloudy regions because there needs to be some sun to allow this
technology to work. You could consider the feasibility of using home wind power or generating free electricity with magnetic
generators as well.
One of the reasons building integrated systems is becoming increasingly popular over the use of fossil fuels is
that there is barely any maintenance of these systems required once established.
But the one thing that holds people back from building integrated systems is the fact that they do not come
cheap and can cost in the ranges of $15,000- $75,000.
The cost involved really depends on the size of your home and whether you are starting from scratch or adding an
integrated system to an existing home.